Institute of Archaeology


Amanda Ford Spora 

(Re)conceptualising authentic narratives of Nile Valley funerary figurines with teenagers using digitally produced replicas 

Amanda Ford Spora

Email: amanda.fordspora.14@ucl.ac.uk 

Section: World Archaeology



This research is about co-creative meaning making using digitally produced replicas, and the process that non-professionals and professionals engage with together, to manifest authentic narratives of the ancient past. The research is underpinned by a Constructionist concept of authenticity pertaining to the creation of authentic experiences of objects from the ancient past and the way we create narratives about them in the present through engagement with 3D print replicas.

The Digitally Produced (DP) replicas commissioned for this research were produced by ThinkSee3D. The funerary figurines include three shabtis from the Nile valley, two shabtis date to the Napatan Period from the Kingdom of Kush (700-300BCE) in the Middle Nile valley and the third shabti from the 30th Dynasty (380-343BCE) of Pharaonic Egypt. Two of the original shabtis, currently located in the Petrie Museum, include a shabti attributed to Napatan Queen, Madiken, while the other is attributed to Horwedja Priest of Neith of the 30th Dynasty. The third original shabti, currently located in Manchester Museum, is attributed to Napatan King, Senkamanisken. An important by-product of this research is to raise awareness of Sudanese heritage. 

Undertaking research with teens in Sudan, Australia and United Kingdom, engaging with cutting edge 3D print technology replicas of Nile Valley funerary figurines and employing performative-oriented subversive forms of representation. Including the exploration of the use of Manga style comics and the co-creation of a comic book as an alternative resource for the Nile Valley funerary figurines.

The research has been awarded the following funding:

  • 2019 Egyptian Exploration Patrons’ Award
  • 2020 UCL Public Engagement Bursary


  • BA, Social Work, University of New South Wales AUSTRALIA, 1992
  • Licentiate Teaching Diploma in Speech and Drama, Trinity College of London, 1994
  • BA, Theatre Studies, University of New South Wales AUSTRALIA, 1996
  • Graduate Diploma Archaeology, IoA UCL, 2016
  • MA, Archaeology of Egypt and Near East, IoA UCL 2018
  • Associate Fellowship, Higher Education Academy, 2020
Conference papers

Ford Spora, A 2017, 'Giving kids their voice in heritage management', paper presented to HerMa 4th Conference, Athens, 22-24 September 2017